Oyster Boy Review 21  
  Poetry Annual 2014
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» Levee 67


A Stake, a Vague Intention

After Heidegger, Mary Ruefle

Kathleen Hellen

I worked to chain the object with emotion but
Christmas came with all the usual wagons:
Negligees. Perfumes. The weight of it was nothing . . .

just a friend, you said, the woman in the photograph, wedded
to your shoulder, easy in the way her look assumed affection.

You offered earrings I had asked for with a clasp,
token of the times I'd sued for something
small, silver,
                    something with a hook, lasting,
hitched to an occasion like a fastener.
What is the relation of being to being?

Birthdays had their pledge of bed and breakfast.
On Valentine's you filled a room with roses—Not surprised?
you asked, laughing—but they died.

. . .